Friday February 27th will see Andover officially launched as Hampshire’s newest Dementia Friendly High Street, with information, displays and activities held at The White Hart.
Councillor Jan Lovell, the Mayor of Test Valley will officially launch the initiative by presenting Dementia Friendly stickers to participating organisations. All businesses who have signed up to the Dementia Friendly High Street scheme are able to display a sticker in their shop window this will show people with dementia and their carers that these organisations are committed to their staff being ‘dementia aware’ and know how to support customers with dementia.
Dementia Friendly Hampshire is an initiative launched by Hampshire County Council, the five NHS clinical commissioning groups and Andover Mind, one of the County’s leading mental health and wellbeing charities. Thanks to the initiative, Hampshire is making significant progress to become a Dementia Friendly Community. This means that there will be dementia friendly High Streets, shops, transport providers, leisure facilities, charities, support groups and organisations countywide that have pledged to help create an inclusive environment.
This is important because dementia is a fast growing problem and with nearly 20,000 people estimated to be living with dementia in the county now and the possibility that this number may double by 2030, Hampshire is one county that is particularly affected.
The business community in particular is being called upon to get involved to enable people to live well with dementia. Businesses are being encouraged to sign up to the Hampshire Dementia Action Alliance (HDAA). The HDAA is made up of organisations committed to making a positive difference to the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. It’s free and easy to pledge support and, although it will deliver tangible business benefits, signingup is unlikely to be a big commitment in terms of time and cost. Members of the HDAA publish their own bespoke action plans which, as well as committing to staff awareness training, may include actions such as conducting a review of environmental factors such as signage and seating and making appropriate changes.
The list of businesses and organisations who have signed up to the Dementia Friendly High Street scheme in Andover includes:
- Test Valley Borough Council
- The Lights
- Valley Leisure
- The White Hart
- The Bridge
- The John Russell Fox
- Andover Library
- Museum of The Iron Age
- Simply Health
- The Redbridge
- Costa Coffee
- Anton Infant School
- C and M DIY
- Breakers CIC.
Marie Ponting, Local Area Coordinator for Dementia Friendly Hampshire and her team are working closely with businesses to offer dementia awareness sessions and encourage participation in the campaign.
She commented: “It is possible for people with dementia to live a full and active life if they receive the necessary understanding and support from the community. With an increasingly ageing population, it is essential that communities understand what it means to live with dementia.”
“Small changes to attitude and customer service can make a huge difference and will keep people with dementia and their carers engaged with their local shops, services, businesses and leisure facilities. We are delighted that Andover is participating in the Dementia Friendly High Street initiative.”
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at Hampshire County Council, said: “With around 20,000 people in Hampshire living with dementia, making communities better places to live for people with dementia is becoming increasingly important.”
“We want to help people living with dementia to retain their independence for as long as possible and this means putting in place support to help them carry out everyday activities such as shopping. It is great to see so many organisations in Andover signing up to be part of the Dementia friendly community.”
For more information on how to be a part of the Dementia Friendly Hampshire Campaign, or to sign up to the Hampshire Dementia Action Alliance, please call Andover Mind on 01264 332297 or visit www.andovermind.org.uk/hampshiredementiaactionalliance.